My Story is me.

Everyone has a story and your story is whatever you want to make it. Your story is what is important to you. It’s different situations and different circumstances. It’s battles that have been won and lost.  Your story is you.  My question is: is it important to tell your story?

I read in a book that by telling your story you are creating yourself.  Some people can’t feel like they’ve lived without telling their story.

This topic for me sparked when I was asked in one of my last ever university classes, what brought me to study sociology.  Luckily, I was very last, so I had lots of time to think about my story or alter what I was going to say depending on what other people were saying. By the time it got to me, my story had changed a lot then how I would have told it if I was first. Surprisingly, my story got longer and more in-depth as I listened to others people’s stories.

In my story, I talked a lot about being lost, not knowing what I wanted to do in my life, and stumbling upon studying sociology out of desperation.  I still stand true to this.  If sociology has done anything for me, it has taught me about life and about people. I analyze situations more and understand how and why people act or react in the ways they do. I understand pop culture and climate change, social structures and how each individual is shaped through experiences. I also have a better understanding of why people are the way they are and with this knowledge, I have been able to grow and excel in many different jobs and relationships.

I see a lot of people on social media criticizing others that talk about their past experiences or issues. People will often say they’re doing it for attention or the want for pity and even as I grow and share more about myself, I often feel that people think this about me. BUT, I have finally come to the point in my life that I no longer care what people think.  There will forever be people that are going to talk negatively about you, even if you’re the nicest person in the world. People love talking. People get jealous. People like to criticize anything out of the norm. And people hate change. That’s life.

I think transparency is extremely important for me. I used to say I thought it was important for everyone, but I remembered that not everyone wants to share their stories. For me, I think sharing my struggles, triumphs, losses, victories and everything in between in an important part of who I am. I like connecting with people in this way. I like being able to say: “Me too, I was there, I went through that too, I’ve also felt that”.. etc. I focus so much on this openness and find it to be important because as I was growing up, I felt multiple times like I was the only one. I felt alone with my thoughts and feelings and didn’t have anyone to connect to. I remember the first time I met someone who suffered through similar events as me and the extreme sense of comfort, understanding and release of emotion it gave me. I finally felt like I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t wrong in having the thoughts I did or doing the things I did in the past. If just one person stumbles upon this blog and feels that, then I feel like I’ve done something right.

If you are reading this, I want to remember a few things. You deserve to be happy. Don’t stop until you wake up each day and are excited to live your life. Your past doesn’t define you. Learn from it, and continue to grow and move on. You are not alone, no matter what the voice in your head tells you. People love and care about you, you are here for a reason, please go out and find that reason!

Lots of love and positive thoughts!
Ash

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#HowToLoveMe

I love searching through Instagram. Yes, I am one of those people who search through the discovery page, lusting over fashion, tattoos, travel photos and beautiful people. The other day I stumbled upon Shan Boodram’s Instagram account and boy am I happy I did. Not only is she a physically beautiful human being, but she is the kind of woman that just through scrolling her feed, you can tell she’s a world changer. I could literally ramble about her for ages but that is not the reason for this post. The reason for this post is an initiative that she started called: How to Love Me.

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The initiative is exactly what it sounds like. It is instructions for the person you love (or one day will love), on how to love you. In Shan’s YouTube video that I linked above, she explains that so many people in relationships are put in situations that they are not designed to thrive in. Instead of figuring out how to love a person in a way they need to be loved, we get mad because they are not reacting the “proper” way to the love we are giving them. Shan proposes an idea of what if we give people the recipe on how to love us and help us thrive in that love. The instructions for people who want to understand us, before attempting to love us.

I thought this was an amazing and beautiful idea and in doing this initiative, I might not only possibly help someone love me one day, but I’ll also learn how to accept that love and prosper in it. So here is a list of the most important things I need to feel loved.

  • showing you care about what I care about
  • giving me my personal space when I need it
  • physical touch
  • making me a priority
  • respecting my time
  • HONESTY-LOYALTY
  • express your feelings
  • laugh with me
  • challenge me
  • support my passions, but also have your own
  • grow with me
  • help me through my bad days
  • kindness

If you guys have a second, I challenge you to take this initiative and share it with your partner. If you’re like me and you don’t have one, who cares! Do it anyway! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Also, check out Shan on her social media! This girl is life changing!!

🙂
Ash

What it’s Like to Love Someone Who’s Killing Themselves

I fought off writing this for a long time for a couple reasons. I never felt like it was my story to tell. I also felt like it was super sad and depressing to talk about.

But I’ve realized that anything in my life that has shaped me is part of my story and I know I’m not the only one in this situation so maybe writing this post will help me connect with other people.

Loving someone who is killing themselves through the means of an addiction is the most painful thing I will probably ever have to live through. I used to blame myself, always questioning if there were things I could have done or said that would help this person from the destiny they continue to choose for themselves. I wondered if it was my actions that turned them to drink themselves into their unconscious state day after day.

“Maybe if I was smarter, more well behaved, had bigger achievements.. etc. etc.,” were questions I asked myself every day.

Every glimmer of hope I saw, I would hold onto, hoping that one day they would wake up and choose life over their addiction. That they would choose family over an intoxicated haze. And again and again, every piece of hope would be ripped from my fingers.

People will tell you to just keep loving them to the best of your ability. Just keep praying for them. Just keep holding onto to hope that one day it’ll be different. But what they don’t see is the relapses where hope is torn from your hands over and over again.

People don’t talk about the missed birthdays, Christmases and other holidays. They don’t talk about the awkward conversations when people ask where they are, why they look so ill or how they got all those bruises all over their bodies.

You have to watch people judge your family, wondering why we’re not trying to help them more, and not knowing we’re helping them the best we can.

They don’t know what it’s like to have the person you love one day and an addiction stricken monster the next. They don’t know what it’s like to blame yourself into a depression. To compare yourself and wonder if you’ll ever end up drowning in addiction too.

Loving someone who is killing themselves hurts, it hurts every single day. It leaves your heart feeling empty and hopeless. And you live for the sober days, the sober conversations, the sober hugs and “I love you”s. Because even on the most hopeless days, hope is all you really have to hold on to, and hope is what we continue to do.

What To Do When You’re in a Slump

Well hello there,

Welcome to Ashley’s personal pity party, where all those who are down and sad about life are welcome to join. But in all seriousness, I’ve found myself in quite the low spot as of recently. I’m a pretty emotionally influenced person, so when the people around me are stressed and sad, I usually get the same and with the job I’m currently working at, this happens quite frequently. So I’ve decided to share my secrets, tips, and tricks to you all on how I get back on track and back to my normal happy self.

1) To start off if you didn’t already realize, writing is a huge stress relief for me because it gets all those kept inside feelings and thoughts out. I’m the same way with people, if I have something to say, I have to say it otherwise I just drown myself in the unsaid words.

2) I check what I’m eating. As a previous binge eater, I use to hide my feelings in food. When I’m sad I often find myself going back to these roots, but I’m a huge believer in a healthy gut makes a healthy mind. I eat a very clean diet, which makes me feel great. So in moments (like now), I make sure I’m fuelling my body with good foods so I won’t make myself feel guilty about binging out on junk foods.

3) Exercise. This one is major for me. Even just getting outside to go for a walk helps. I will literally lay in bed and dread going to a workout, but I’ll tell you a secret. I never regret going after the workout is done. An exercise of any sort is awesome for getting stress out and increasing the happy chemicals in your brain. I promise you, it might suck going, but after you’ll thank me.

4) Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. This one is extremely important. People’s minds are influenced immensely by the environment. If you’re surrounded by negative influences and people, your emotions will continue to be negative. Being around people who remind you that you’ll make it through this rough patch is critical. I’m grateful for my amazing friends every day.

5) Get to the root of your slump or sad feelings. Figure out why you got to this low point. Is it a negative relationship, money, school or anything else? Pin point it, and figure out what you can change. If you’re stuck in a bad relationship, either try and fix it or get the heck out. Don’t waste your time with a person who doesn’t deserve you. If you’re having money issues, take a step back and figure out where you could be spending your money smarter. If you’re not enjoying what you’re studying in school, stop right now and find your passion. Don’t let people pressure or convince you that there’s only one path in life.

6) This one is probably super cheesy, but I love looking up motivational quotes and pictures. Tumblr is my BFF. I find it so peaceful to read through motivating and relatable quotes. (You can make fun of me if you want!)

7) Think about all the positive things you have going for you. Make a list even. Think about all the positive attributes and qualities you have that people love about you. I don’t care if this sounds self-centered or self-absorbed. If you’re feeling down and you have no one there to tell you you’re awesome, tell yourself that! You, my friend, (whoever is reading this), are awesome, you make a difference in this world and without you here many people would be affected.

8) Music. This is another great one. Find the cheesiest, sing-a-long music you can think of and blast it. Throw yourself a dance party. I have two moods. I will either play my favourite pop songs (“Nothing’s Holding Me Back”, BANGER) and drive around pretending I’m a rock star, or I’ll play super depressing stuff and sit in my car and have a good cry. Both are very effective, but I personally suggest the pop star dance party.

9) Take a nap. I work four jobs, plus do a billion things on the side. Sleep isn’t something I always get enough of, so when I start getting anxious and sad, I try getting in a quick re-start nap. This one doesn’t always help me 100% of the time, but a little bit of beauty sleep never hurt anyone!

10) Give someone you love a hug. It can be a friend, parent, sibling, spouse, I don’t care. Find someone who cares about you, and give them the tightest hug. It always helps me.

11) **bonus Do something nice for someone else. This one is great. Not only will you feel great about yourself, but you’ll make someone else’s day better too. Examples of things you can do: buy the person’s coffee behind you in line, tell someone you like something they’re wearing or even just tell someone they look nice today. Making someone else smile will guarantee to make you smile too!

Love always.

-A